Re: 3 Dead in Sailing Yacht Crash in Race from Newport California to Mexico.
Yes, we have a lot of commercial traffic. When they're in restricted/limited waters, they have the right of way, simple as that. In the Seattle area, it's a good idea to listen to VTS, then you'll know where they're going. It's not up to debate, it just is. All race instructions make it clear that is your responsibility to stay out of anythings' way that's commercial and in traffic lanes. We're the interlopers in this case. All that said and aside, no one wants to run into or over anyone. We've waited many times to cross the center sound in the afternoons when the cruise ship flotilla steams north. It's not something we mess with. Ever. Same for Ferries. Tugs are easier to deal with as they're going slower, but we've never had an issue that a radio call hasn't been able to resolve quickly.
As for the accident and the OP, tragic stuff. Hard to know about visibility on a clear night sometimes... cold water, warmer air. I'm betting that in the near future an AIS receiver and possibly transmitter will be required on all race boats for ocean events. That said, all the safety gear in the world might not have made a difference. We don't know as we weren't there. Again, obviously mistakes were made by someone on one boat/ship or both. Let us use it as a lesson to remind ourselves that this could happen to any of us in the perfect storm of timing and events. Once one makes peace with this, heightened vigilance follows.
Small rant here, but are there any tragedies that aren't 'needless'?
Last edited by puddinlegs; 04-30-2012 at 08:29 PM.